I’m hosting an author interview today with David Litwack, the author of fantasy novel “Along The Watchtower”. I hope you enjoy the interview! I had a blast reading David’s responses.
1) Please tell us about yourself.
I’m a once and future author. I started writing when I was seventeen and worked at it well into my late twenties when family and career intervened. In the interim, I raised two sons and founded several successful software companies. I never thought I’d go back to writing. But after a thirty year hiatus, it just happened. Characters in my head started to speak to me and stories came to life. The next thing I knew, I was writing again.
2) Tell us about your book in five sentences or less.
Along the Watchtower crosses genre borders to deliver a poignant tale that is part love story, part fantasy adventure, part family drama and moving chronicle of recovery and personal growth. It’s about Lieutenant Freddie Williams, a severely wounded Iraq War vet confined to a hospital for injuries sustained in an IED explosion. But when he sleeps, Williams becomes Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, heir to the throne in a fantastical realm of demons, elves, and magic. And in these distinct yet strangely similar worlds are the women who will touch both his lives and his heart: Rebecca in Stormwind, the gardener who is the troubled prince’s destiny…and Becky, Freddie’s physical therapist, who must guide the broken warrior past his personal demons and may be his only way back from Hell.
3) What inspired you to write Along The Watchtower?
I’ve always been fascinated by how differently people perceive reality, each of us bringing our own experiences and biases into play. But when we’re ripped from our normal lives and placed in extreme circumstances, our reality can become totally fragmented. Such is the case with hospitals and war.
At the same time, I’d become engrossed in the online fantasy game, World of Warcraft, playing with my son. I’m on the east coast on he’s on the west, so we’d meet every Wednesday evening in the virtual world of Azeroth, where we our avatars would go on quests together. I was struck by how quickly time passed and how immersed I became in the surreal mood of the game, wandering around in strange places, solving riddles and overcoming trials.
The fantasy gaming experience has a dream-like quality to it. And I began to wonder: how would this experience affect the dreams of someone whose reality has been fragmented by war, PTSD and traumatic brain injury? These concepts—war, hospitals, and the fantasy world of online gaming—came together in Along the Watchtower.
4) How many hours per week do you spend writing?
I write two sessions a day, where a session is about two hours, the most I can concentrate at one sitting. On a day when I’m struggling, I may do only one. When I’m on a roll and can see my characters as if they were alive, I might do three. I try to write every day, seven days a week, except when life intervenes.
5) If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
I’ll cheat and give four: Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Arthur C. Clarke and J.R.R.Tolkien.
6) Tell us about your current work in progress.
I’m in late stage edits with an alternate world story called The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. It’s about a world divided between the Blessed Lands, a place of the spirit, and the Republic, whose people worship at the altar of reason. A mysterious nine-year-old girl from the Blessed Lands sails into the lives of a troubled couple in the Republic and seems to heal everyone she meets. She reveals nothing about herself, other than to say she’s the daughter of the sea and the sky. But she harbors a secret wound she herself cannot heal.
I’m also planning what will be a sequel to There Comes a Prophet. I’ve always wondered what happened to Orah and Nathaniel after their world changing heroics and what became of the contemporaries of the keepmasters who had crossed the great ocean. Stay tuned.
About Along The Watchtower
The war in Iraq ended for Lieutenant Freddie Williams when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once he was a skilled gamer and expert in virtual warfare. Now he’s a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he’s inhabiting two separate realities. The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse—and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of Becky, his physical therapist. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic that Freddie enters when he sleeps.
In his dreams he is Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, who must make sense of his horrific visions in order to save his embattled kingdom from the monstrous Horde. His only solace awaits him in the royal gardens, where the gentle words of the beautiful gardener, Rebecca, calm the storms in his soul. While in the conscious world, the severely wounded vet faces a strangely similar and equally perilous mission—a journey along a dark road haunted by demons of guilt and memory—and letting patient, loving Becky into his damaged and shuttered heart may be his only way back from Hell.
The urge to write first struck when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.
Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.
There Comes a Prophet, the first novel in this new stage of life, was published in July 2012. His second, Along the Watchtower, will be available in June 2013.
David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.
Facebook: David Litwack – Author
There Comes a Prophet trailer: http://youtu.be/43girNzSFsw
Along the Watchtower trailer: http://youtu.be/f1JMK-ukaPo
Purchase from Amazon: Amazon